Volunteering can be a route to employment or a way to try something which may help you choose a career. It also provides a great opportunity to give something back to the community and can be a way to connect to the local community, make friends and find out more about the local area.
Apply to the Student Opportunity Fund to help with costs for some volunteering activities. Some organisations may also offer to cover the cost of travel expenses.
You can volunteer from a couple of hours per month to a couple of days per week. Find out more in the Student Volunteering Handbook.
To find out more why not Book an Appointment with one of our Volunteering Advisers about the different volunteering opportunities available.
Benefits of volunteering
Volunteering can help you to:
- Gain vital work experience
- Gain new skills and develop existing ones
- Gain accredited training
- Go into paid work with the same organisation
- Build up a network of contacts
- Get a professional reference
- Get the edge over other applicants for jobs
When you graduate you will have a valuable qualification obtained through your activities if you sign up for our Volunteering award. If you can combine this qualification with the skills, confidence and experience needed for the career of your choice, you will be a stronger contender when applying for jobs!
Volunteering isn’t all about improving career prospects, it’s also about enjoying yourself! You might want to volunteer in a role that’s not related to your studies at all, simply because it’s something you love. Volunteering is a great way to get involved in University life and the local community and to make friends who share your interests.
Volunteering gives you the chance to:
- Join in activities you really enjoy
- Get to know your local community
- Make new friends
- Experience the ‘feel-good’ factor: knowing you’re helping other people
- Have fun!
Volunteering can help you:
- Make career decisions by trying different roles
- Improve your confidence
- Give something back to your community
- Build your self-esteem
- Find out what you’re passionate about
As a volunteer, doing a valuable job in a real workplace can help you see yourself as a professional and give you extra confidence which you can carry forward into your graduate career.
Volunteering and covid-19: Update
With Covid-19 restrictions being lifted, many charities and organisations are assessing volunteering roles to allow existing volunteers to return in person, also to recruit new volunteers.
Volunteering Advisers have been contacting organisations registered on the Careers Vacancy Portal to invite them to refresh and add roles advertised and to support them in recruiting volunteers. Organisations will be coming back on campus to deliver in person volunteer workshops and events, we will also continue to offer and record virtual and hybrid events to allow students to attend remotely and so we can share the recordings later.
We recognise that the flexibility offered by roles that can be carried out from home, benefits many in building relevant experience around busy schedules, and we will continue to update resources to include home based volunteer roles.
There are many ways you can get involved in volunteering whether you are looking for regular, in person opportunities or roles that you can carry out flexibly or as a one off. If you would like support in finding the right role for you then please book an appointment with a Volunteering Adviser or get in touch using the Ask A Question service.
Volunteer from home
If you are looking for ways you can volunteer from home wherever you are; we have put a guide together to help you to know where to look, including examples of what you can do, and information on the support available through Careers. The roles included will help you build skills and experience, as well as making a difference.
Volunteer where you live
If you are looking for volunteering opportunities that aren’t local to the university, you may find it helpful to get in touch with your local Volunteer Centre or hub, for more information and advice. Our Finding Volunteering Where You Live resource gives information on the support available from Careers and includes a directory of regional/county volunteer centres/hubs throughout the UK and Ireland.
Extra Edge award
Volunteering is a valuable way to not only achieve personal development but also to build the transferable and specific skills sought by employers.
The University values your contribution as a volunteer and through the Extra Edge Award seeks to reward and develop your community involvement.
Explore our Extra Edge Award.
Whatever your interests and subject of study, there is bound to be a voluntary role you enjoy and which will enhance your skills and CV.
Our Volunteering Advisers can support you when you apply for a role by checking your CV or application form. They will give you feedback to help you make the most effective application.
Take a look at our student volunteering handbook for important information on volunteering, what to expect, and your rights and responsibilities.
If you want to find a role, we recommend using our careers vacancy portal. Search for ‘Volunteering’ under ‘Opportunity Type’. We advertise opportunities within 20 miles of the University.Find volunteering opportunities
If you would like to find opportunities further afield, for example in the summer holidays, please contact us via Ask a Question.
Subject specific volunteering
Explore these dedicated resources that are related to different subject areas:
- Business, Management, Accountancy
- Computing, IT & Web Development
- Children and Education
- Criminology, Law and Policing
- Drama and the Performing Arts
- English, Creative Writing and Film Studies
- Biosciences and Geosciences
- Health, Wellbeing and Nutrition
- History and Heritage
- Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations
- Psychology and Social Sciences
- Sport and Physical Activity
Read about how other students have volunteered and been recognised for their work and contributions.View the success stories
Excellence scholarship ambassadors
Read how our Excellence Scholarship Ambassadors volunteered.View the inspiring stories
Careers do not endorse any individual organisations offering international volunteering opportunities, as the quality of experience and support can vary. We can however offer advice and guidance on where to start looking for opportunities. Take a look at our international volunteering resource for further information.
International volunteering is an exciting experience, but it also means hard work far from home so it is vital that you are passionate and enthusiastic about it. Whilst we do not advertise opportunities abroad on our online vacancy pages, if you are considering volunteering overseas we would recommend that you read our international volunteering handbook.